यथा सर्वगतं सौक्ष्म्यादाकाशं नोपलिप्यते |
सर्वत्रावस्थितो देहे तथात्मा नोपलिप्यते || 33||
yathā sarva-gataṁ saukṣhmyād ākāśhaṁ nopalipyate
sarvatrāvasthito dehe tathātmā nopalipyate
yathā—as; sarva-gatam—all-pervading; saukṣhmyāt—due to subtlety; ākāśham—the space; na—not; upalipyate—is contaminated; sarvatra—everywhere; avasthitaḥ—situated; dehe—the body; tathā—similarly; ātmā—the soul; na—not; upalipyate—is contaminated
As the ākāśa that pervades all things is not stained, because of its subtlety, even so the Self dwelling in the body everywhere is not stained.
Ether is the subtlest of things in the material universe. So it is taken as an illustration to point out the all-pervasive, taintless, subtle nature of Atma. By simple comparisons to explain high philosophic truths, is the distinct feature of the Gita. It should not be misunderstood that Atma is ether. No. Like ether, it is subtle; that is what is meant by the comparison. Ether pervades the sky, the dust, the mire and so on, and yet it is not tainted because it is subtle. Similarly, Atma pervades the whole body, and yet it is not tainted or affected by the birth and death of the body nor by the pleasures and pains of the mind or by anything taking place through the different vehicles (upadhis). Moreover, though storm-clouds burst into a thunder, lightning and rain, and spread out in different colours yet the sky is not tainted by the cold winds and hail storm. So also, Atma is seated firm and unmovable in the body and whatever changes take place in the body and mind, it is not at all touched by them in any way whatsoever. The aspirant has to maintain with faith and courage, the attitude that he is the Self and not the body, that he has nothing to do with the innumarable troubles, sorrows, pleasures and pains of the body and the mind. This practice should be continued till it is finally and immovably fixed in the mind. Then the life of the aspirant would be fearless, sublime and blissful.
Sarvatravasthito dehe: Paramatma (as declared in the previous verse) is so near our own body, that we should realise Him in our own heart by means of purity in thought, word and deed. It is clear that no distinction is made here about race, religion, sex, age, and nationality. The Supreme Truth is present in all, and will be revealed to all, if the perfect practice is undertaken. The practice is to search for the Lord within oneself by discarding the five sheaths (Pancha Kosas) with which He is covered, as pure water in a lake is covered up by moss. There is no doubt that determined seekers would find Him in the near future.
Question: What is the nature of Paramatma?
Answer: Though he is seated in the body, yet He is untainted by the changes and modifications in the same way as ether is not tainted by dust or mire or clouds etc.